The Towns Fund Deal is a government funded £3.6 billion opportunity for towns throughout England to bid for funds to improve skills, digital and transport connectivity, create new jobs, raise aspiration and revitalise the economic prospects of the area. Economic growth is a key part of the deal and each town can suggest how it thinks this could be achieved.

A total of 101 towns have been invited to bid for up to £25m; including Goldthorpe; since the scheme launched to the public in January 2020.

To apply for the Government funding, we Town must write and submit an evidence-based Town Investment Plan based on community and stakeholder input.

Learn more about the scheme below.

Who is leading on the Towns Fund Deal locally?

Barnsley Council is actively involved in the Goldthorpe Town Deal, but the Goldthorpe Towns Fund Board are the steering and decision making body in developing the Town Investment Plan with ambitious ideas to transform their towns' prosperity prospects with a focus that embraces improved transport and connectivity, business, skills and culture opportunities.

The Board is made up of community representatives, local businesses and councillors and other regional tiers of local government with an interest in the future development of Goldthorpe.

The role of the Board is to:

  • Develop and agree an evidenced based Town Investment Plan
  • Develop a clear programme of interventions
  • Coordinate resources and influence stakeholders

The Board meet monthly, or as required, to discuss the development and progress of the Town Investment Plan, funding initiatives and ideas to be included in the final bid.

The Towns Fund Board have created a list of Questions and Answers about the project. You'll also find posts on social media with the tag #TownsFund #TheDearne

What does it mean for Goldthorpe?

The Dearne: Restore, Renew, Regenerate. Working together to create a thriving community where people can choose to live, invest and excel.

The Goldthorpe Town Deal can bid for up to £25m to further enhance its economic growth and heritage, improve skills and upgrade digital and transport connectivity.

Your views have and will help shape the town's vision for the next 10 to 15 years, by looking to stimulate greater economic, cultural and social wellbeing. This will include seeking people's opinion on emerging regeneration projects and ideas for future projects.

What area does it cover?

The geographical scope for Goldthorpe's bid to the Towns Fund covers Goldthorpe and the wider Dearne area.

What are the objectives?

These are the four over-arching Goldthorpe themes:

  • Growing Goldthorpe (Physical Growth)
  • Connecting Goldthorpe (Transport Links)
  • Developing Goldthorpe (Community and Social)
  • Placemaking (Public Realm / Environment)

How were the objectives chosen?

Historically much consultation has taken place in the Dearne since the Dearne Valley Renaissance Market Towns (RMT) strategy was launched in late 2005/early 2006 when it was planned to develop a sustainable development framework for the Dearne underpinned by a Dearne Towns Charter.

Consultation took place between September 2007 and June 2010 in development of a Goldthorpe masterplan. The findings from these consultations provided support for the key projects proposed within the masterplan. Common issues raised through the stakeholder consultations were:

  • Poor physical environment in the village centre,
  • The need for improvements to Goldthorpe’s retail offer,
  • Concerns around anti-social behaviour and community safety,
  • The need to improve connectivity in and around the village, along with better public transport,
  • A lack of community facilities and spaces,
  • Few local activities and facilities for young people.

Goldthorpe’s vision and strategic position within the RMT programme was to be the commercial hub and market centre for the surrounding villages and wider Dearne valley. Therefore the primary objective of the masterplan was to consolidate and improve the retail offer of the village and ensure its future viability and sustainability.

Key themes of the final masterplan were:

  • Regenerating the Village Core:
    • including public realm Improvements, creation of a public square and shop front enveloping refurbishment – part of the ambition has been realised with the 2018 launch of the Principal Towns shop front scheme available to independent businesses across the Dearne.
  • New school
    • A new larger primary school facility was required within the heart of the village to replace the inadequate existing school, and to respond to the future growth of Goldthorpe – this ambition was achieved in September 2016 when the new school opened its doors to pupils for the first time.
  • Better Housing
    • Improving the quality of housing stock and living conditions for residents within the Dearne valley, including Beever Street redevelopment and new bungalow development for older persons – part of the ambition in Goldthorpe was realised with the bungalow development on Beever Street which welcomed its first residents in 2019
  • Green Space and Connections
    • to develop a high quality, interconnected network of spaces and a green infrastructure for visual amenity, recreational activity and ecology/habitat creation – the Embankment project in Goldthorpe is a great success story and opened in September 2019 and showcased great community spirit and dedication in transforming the once blighted area into a wonderful community space.
  • Celebrating Goldthorpe
    • Celebrate Goldthorpe’s historical and cultural heritage and create a stronger identity through new landmarks and focal points of interest

More recently in mid-2019, local community consultation was carried out by the Dearne Integrated Well-Being team and included questions to help us understand what residents loved about the area they lived, and also what they would like to see improved.

Since that consultation the Government launched #MyTown in October 2019 to give residents the opportunity to put forward their ideas on how to improve skills and transport, create new jobs and regenerate their local community.

Drawing on issues and themes raised by the local community in previous consultations already described and from #MyTown Goldthorpe, we are developing a themed Town Investment Plan that will address the concerns residents have raised, build on the issues that are important, and one that will see Goldthorpe and the Dearne become an area where more people choose to live…

How does the Towns Fund Deal fit in with other projects in the borough?

These are the other current schemes which also aim to enhance and improve the area:

The Future High Street Fund: is a competitive fund awarded to high streets and town centres that are seeking to combat the decline of the traditional retail environment. Barnsley town centre has been identified as being eligible for the competitive funding and the Council is actively participating in the process.

Heritage Area Action Zone Eldon Street: The Eldon Street High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) is an exciting four-year partnership between Barnsley Museums and Historic England. It will restore and revitalise historic properties on Eldon Street, once a vibrant commercial and cultural centre for the town. The HSHAZ will work with local people and stakeholders to explore and celebrate the rich stories and heritage of Eldon Street, as part of the wider town centre redevelopment.

Heritage Area Action Zone Elsecar: launched in 2017 was one of the first Heritage Action Zones (HAZ) in the country and has been a successful three-year partnership between Barnsley Museums and Historic England. Focusing on Elsecar, a model industrial village established by the Earl Fitzwilliam of Wentworth Woodhouse in the 1790s, the HAZ has worked with local people to research and celebrate Elsecar's amazing story and the village's unique heritage. The project has also helped to guide plans for future development and established Elsecar's future potential as part of the region's growing visitor and tourism economy.  

Have your say... Your opinion counts...

Your opinion is crucial to our success: This is your opportunity to have your say.

Why is my opinion still important?

It is important that all sections of the community say how they think the town can grow and improve. Council and community representatives cannot do everything and don't claim to have the best ideas - and the contributions of a large number of individuals makes for a better, active and more dynamic town.

Thanks to your valuable feedback and contributions so far, the Goldthorpe Towns Fund Deal is on track to help create an exciting, brighter future based on major new investment.

But more engagement is needed and desirable so that the submissions to the government reflect the widest possible interaction - and because the more opinion that arises, the more creative, relevant and stronger the bid can be.

Further consultation based on the 4 themes of Growing, Connecting, Developing and Placemaking has now taken place (closed midnight on 13 September 2020) and the results will be published shortly.

You are still able to leave comments at any time at #MyTown Goldthorpe

How can individuals give their opinions?

It's an easy process to share your views, please go the official Town Deal Funds #MyTown Goldthorpe website.

On that site you can also read what other people have already suggested for Goldthorpe.

You can also contribute to the social media exchanges on Twitter for Goldthorpe #TownsFund #TheDearne, give your view at the Barnsley Council Facebook site or email us at

I have a question not answered here … how do I raise it?

By email please to

What are the Towns Fund timescales?

The final proposals will be agreed by the Town Board and Barnsley Council for submission to the government by October 2020.

The stages are:

  • June: review of supporting evidence and further consideration and scrutiny of the project
  • July: plans developed
  • August: blueprint produced
  • August end: submission of the draft Towns Fund plans for Goldthorpe
  • September: consultation of Investment Plan themes and working up and revision of the draft plan
  • October: the Towns Fund Investment Plan is completed

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